Monetary policy transparency, public commentary, and market perceptions about monetary policy in Canada
The introduction of inflation targets in Canada in 1991 ostensibly clarified the objectives of monetary policy, namely the pursuit of price stability. In doing so, one of the objectives of the new policy was to ensure that the public would henceforth be able to assess more easily monetary policy performance based on the Bank of Canada's record at achieving low and stable inflation. An obvious question then is to ascertain whether in fact, as the Governor the Bank stated recently, "... public commentary on monetary policy since 1991 has involved a fairer assessment of the performance of the Bank of Canada." Using information compiled on commentary about the Bank of Canada, and monetary policy in general, collected from the Globe and Mail and Financial Post national newspapers, we evaluate how favourable or critical such commentaries have been since 1986. In so doing, we examine a sample before inflation control targets were introduced, as well as the period since. The Bank of Canada also aims to influence expectations and financial market perceptions of its performance. Additional tests, using daily interest rate and exchange rates and monthly inflation and inflation forecast data, are presented which shed light on this question.
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